Archive for February, 2011

A possible answer…

February 24, 2011

…to this, posed by friend and fellow Texan Tweaker:

Someone please explain to me how homosexual men and women aren’t all rabid, heartless libertarians.

The best way I can think of to explain it is this:

The gay people who aren’t libertarians — just like the straight people who aren’t libertarians — aren’t libertarians because they subscribe to the traditional way of thinking. That is, they think along the lines of the liberal vs. conservative model as opposed to the libertarian vs. authoritarian model. Such is the exact way of thinking that gets folks like me branded as:

• a raving right wing nut for thinking we should be able to buy machine guns via Amazon.com and have them delivered to our doorstep via UPS; and

• a raving left-wing moonbat for thinking we should be able to buy weed at the local HEB.

And that’s pretty much the long and short of that, I think. You could probably say the same of a lot of gun owners too, or pretty much any other group that finds itself under attack by whatever segment of society. Thoughts?

Wow, a refreshing lack of PSH here…

February 24, 2011

…in this section of the letters to the editor that focuses on the right to arms. There is, of course, at least one could-be Fudd who bemoans the “the sale of automatic weapons to the public is ill advised,” but the rest of the letters are refreshingly pro-RKBA.

All these letters were in response to this letter from Sunday:

Without guns, the Egyptian people overthrew a dictator! But, in the USA, the NRA and GOP insist Americans need AK-47s and 30-bullet clips to hunt and protect themselves from fellow Americans. How sad. How pathetic.

How ad hominem and unsupported. Of course, as St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner Kurt Hofmann pointed out a few days ago, those “gunless revolutions” don’t always work out so well. Not that that was any big surprise, but I still find it amazing that liberals always so stubbornly deny history and reality.

One wonders what Felipe Calderon would have Americans do…

February 23, 2011

here:

As he has in the past, Calderon complained to El Universal that the U.S. government has done little to curb either American demand for the drugs produced or smuggled through Mexico or the flow of weapons south across the border.

Okay, so anyone who’s taken more than a cursory look at the situation vis-a-vis the weapons the drug cartels are using knows American weapons account for only a tiny fraction of the weaponry the cartels use, so we’ll leave that one alone — well, except to say that Calderon seems to be using American gun dealers as a scapegoat.

But as for curbing demand…what does Calderon expect Americans to do? Throw more drug users in jail, thereby leaving less room in said jails for people who actually pose a danger to those around them? People like, say, Gregory Longoria Jr. or Joe Amos Shaw? I know there are those people who advocate just that, but it seems to me they don’t really have the United States’ best interests at heart.

Hey, here’s a solution!

February 23, 2011

I don’t understand why Americans think this has to be so complicated:

Killing hostages “has now become part of our rules,” said a pirate who identified himself as Muse Abdi. He referred as a turning point to last week’s sentencing of a pirate to 33 years in prison for the 2009 attack on the U.S. cargo vessel the Maersk Alabama — just two days before the hijacking….

Tuesday’s bloody events are apt to leave U.S. military planners in a quandary: Do they go after the pirates harder? Do they attack their bases on Somalia’s ungoverned shores?

Why not let the companies or individuals who own the ships provide for their own defense? There’s no good reason they should have to wait on the Navy to do it for them. It seems to me to be a logical extension of the principle we apply right here on land — that is, sometimes the police don’t get there fast enough. There was no good reason the folks on the Maersk Alabama should have had to wait on Navy snipers. I bet if those pirates had to worry about heavier return fire right then and there, as opposed to at some undetermined point in the future, this sort of thing wouldn’t be nearly as common.

Wow, Fox calls that bipartisan?

February 22, 2011

David Codrea, in his Gun Rights Examiner column today:

As discussed in an earlier Gun Rights Examiner report today, Larry Pratt, the Executive Director of Gun Owners of America, appeared on the Fox News’ “America Live” program with Megyn Kelly today to discuss the nomination of Andrew Traver for Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms….

Kelly tried to present Traver as a bipartisan choice, citing support from Illinois Republican Senator Mark Kirk, either unaware or uncaring that Kirk is as committed a gungrabber as anyone on either side of the aisle.

You know what that is, right? That is just one more piece of evidence that — as I’ve said before — the meaning of “bipartisanship” is “the Constitution getting ass-raped by both sides.” Why couldn’t Megyn Kelly have gotten the opinion of, say, Tom Coburn? I will say that I don’t know directly what Coburn’s opinion on Andrew Traver is, but considering Coburn objected to Eric Holder’s nomination as attorney general — and considering the fact that Coburn is A-rated by the NRA and has a very high opinion of the Gun Owners of America — it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Coburn would oppose the nomination of Andrew Traver as well.

Mark Kirk? Really, Megyn Kelly? Considering Fox News’ reputation among the liberals, I expected better than that.

I don’t get stories like this.

February 22, 2011

Seriously?

U.S. census data for Texas, released Thursday, contained a statistic that made gung-ho San Antonio chamber-of-commerce types pound their chests….

At best, the ranking might be useful at a pep rally.

At worst, it can mislead.

“People see that, and they think we should have a football team,” County Judge Nelson Wolff said. “It’s nice bragging rights, but as far as a meaningful economic engine, compared to Dallas, we’re insignificant.”

For those looking at population figures more holistically, the Metropolitan Statistical Area figures are most important.

In that lineup, San Antonio comes in a distant third after Dallas and Houston.

And the comments to the story are just as bad, if not worse.

I am very tired of the braggadocio of local citizens: We are No. 2 in the state; we are No. 7 in the nation! It’s only because San Antonio never got ringed by suburbs formed by citizens not wanting to be annexed. Sacramento has a metropolitan area only slightly larger than San Antonio’s! Doesn’t sound so great, does it?…San Antonio comes in at about 28th in the nation–not bad, but not anywhere near the false concept developed by stating the ranking of only the population within the city limits!

Good grief, so much self-hating bullshit here that I hardly know where to begin.

1.3 million people in San Antonio and the way its people — and its own goddamned elected officials — talk you’d think it was…Beaumont or something. Or Orange. And why in the hell shouldn’t San Antonio have an NFL team? If snow-covered backwoods towns like Green Bay and Buffalo have them then what the hell would be so outrageous about San Antonio having one?

Really, though, that’s a rather minor point compared to the overall arc of this story. I don’t understand what’s so bad about the San Antonio-New Braunfels MSA being so…small. (If you get the idea I think it’s ridiculous that an eight-county area with 2 million people is considered small, then you’re absolutely right. But let’s run with it.) You know what would probably happen if people started moving here? They’d very likely find jobs in San Antonio and commute to one of the suburbs, like Schertz or Cibolo, Bulverde or Boerne, even — more than they do now, at any rate. You know what that’s called, right? It’s called sprawl, and it’s a blight on the land. If you’ve read Sabra’s blog for any length of time you know what’s been going on north of town along the Highway 281 corridor and along Loop 1604:

Developments have been dug into the rock, and the scars are fresh and ugly. There used to be the groovy little trees–we have a tree preservation ordinance, but it’s a joke–and scrub brush, and it looked like the country, but now it’s just a butt-ton of developments, and far too many people.

Back a few weeks ago when Sabra and I ventured up Highway 281 around Stone Oak, I saw exactly what she meant — the Hill Country leveled and paved, as Randy Rogers lamented, and those developments in the dug-up rock. The natural beauty wasn’t obliterated, but it was hugely spoiled by all the lookalike McMansions and commercial development.

Is that what people want? Would they really trade this area’s stunning natural beauty, laid-back atmosphere and other benefits for a higher spot on the population list?

And “braggadocio of local citizens”? Maybe I haven’t been here long enough, but from what I can tell anyone who thinks San Antonians are excessively proud of this city is high as a kite on any number of illegal substances. Seems like every time you turn around you find somebody talking about how to boost the city’s image on whatever level. If San Antonians possess anything in the same universe as braggadocio, then how does one explain SA2020? Maybe it’s just me, but when the SA2020 organization came about, that was another instance in which it occurred to me that San Antonians underestimate their city. There was an enlightening quote in that above-linked story, from — who else? — Nelson Wolff:

“For years, we’ve built highways and spread out…Do you want to pull together?”

Sounds like pretty sage advice, but if you do that, the SA-New Braunfels MSA is going to stay exactly the way it is. I don’t see why that’s so bad — 7th largest city in the country, with all the amenities of such, less than an hour away from the best sightseeing, fishing and live music to be had, up in the Hill Country. All without the sprawl of Houston or the bling of Dallas. Sounds like a win-win situation to me.

Random Tuesday musings…

February 22, 2011

…prompted by the letters to the editor in today’s San Antonio Express-News:

When I received my Feb. 16 Express-News, I thought it was the National Enquirer.

I couldn’t believe that you ran the “ex-convict” story about Caroline Haggard Flores and Miss San Antonio on Page 1….

While your article did provide views from those who support Flores, it was tainted by your sensationalism in bringing to the fore an issue (health care fraud, for which Flores served time in prison) more than 15 years old that has no relevance to the issues now at hand.

Flores has worked tirelessly with the pageant and contestants for several years and, as you know, she is a volunteer.

Yep. (More background on the situation — and its absurdities — here.) I remember reading that story about Ms. Flores’ convictions and telling Sabra as I saw the headline, “Well, we know whose side the Express-News is on, don’t we?” Reporter Guillermo Contreras tried to justify the story by writing therein that Flores’ convictions raised questions about how the Miss Bexar County organization vets its executives. Still, though, if what the above-quoted letter writer says is true about Flores’ record with MBC — and I have seen nothing to back up whatever claims anyone might make that it isn’t — then it makes Mr. Contreras’ claim even more absurd than it already is.

Next up, we have this little nugget:

Re: “Oldie but not a goody” (John Trevino‘s Feb. 16 letter, second letter on the page — ed.):
If it hadn’t been for his “land-grabbing carpetbaggers and thieves at the Alamo,” Trevino would now be dodging bullets and hiding like a rat from drug cartels in Mexico.

You know, I never thought about that, but that’s a pretty good point. Seems to me all the Mexicans here and elsewhere in Texas should be glad Texas won its independence from Mexico, because if it hadn’t Texas would be a crime- and corruption-ridden shithole just like the rest of Mexico. How ironic the ones who bitch and moan do so in a place of such safety and affluence.

I realize that they were just doing their jobs…

February 21, 2011

…but I still don’t understand this:

Timothy Wayne Adams never denied fatally shooting his 19-month-old namesake son, leaving a Houston jury the task of considering only his punishment….

Evidence showed Adams shot his son, Timothy Jr., twice at close range. Prosecutors said the slaying nine years ago this week was intended as retaliation against his wife because she was leaving him. Defense attorneys argued the killing was an aberration in an otherwise law-abiding life and that Adams also had intended to kill himself before friends and police talked him out of it.

Sorry, but no. There are some crimes so evil, so heinous that they mark the perpetrator as a rabid animal and should be punished accordingly. Killing a defenseless toddler in cold blood is one of them.

Oh, and how about this:

In earlier court appeals, Adams contended his trial lawyers had been deficient and failed to adequately address prosecution evidence and testimony that he said unfairly labeled him a baby killer and abusive spouse.

Unfairly? Huh. Sounds to me like that’s exactly what he was. And I don’t understand how anyone could argue otherwise, or argue that such could not happen again. I wonder if the defense attorneys would want to bet their kids’ lives on that. Somehow I think I already know the answer.

What is it with gun control activists…

February 21, 2011

not knowing what they’re talking about?

“People tell me that if they would have been there, they would have shot that guy. That offends me,” Goddard said. “People want to be the hero, I understand that. They play video games and they think they understand the reality. It’s nothing like that.”

Really? I’m sure Joel Myrick, Tracy Bridges and Mikael Gross would beg to differ, considering, you know, that they stopped armed madmen on campus with firearms they personally owned. No doubt Mark Alan Wilson would also beg to differ as well, were he still with us. Yes, I know, the Tyler shooting was not a campus event; but it was still in a densely packed area with God only knows how many unknowns to contend with, just like a college campus.

If you click the link to the mySA story, you should see a photo of Colin Goddard participating in a “lie-in” earlier this year. That is so very fitting, considering he and his kind would just lie down in the face of violence and hope a rampaging gunman would shoot them last. And that wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t seek to force us all to do that. What a bunch of reprehensible excuses for Americans those people are.

Yep, because Mississippi is TOTALLY representative…

February 20, 2011

…of the South. Leonard Pitts says it, that settles it.

The South fought in defense of racism and slavery. It was soundly defeated, racism and slavery soundly repudiated. You’d think from that loss the South would have learned signal lessons of human rights and human dignity.

…sometimes, you wonder if the South even knows it lost.

Because, instead of learning those costly lessons and moving forward, too much of the South has spent too much of the last century and a half denying them and looking backward. It did so first through the expedient of lynch mob violence and Jim Crow laws. Now it clings to discredited 19th-century symbols like driftwood, obsessively reworks history trying to make the facts other than what they are.

But the facts are immutable.

You wish the South would finally accept that and move on.

I agree with him 100 percent on the legacy of Nathan Bedford Forrest. And I was fucking born in Mississippi. Still, though, it irks me when he talks about “the South this” and “the South that” (this and that being various and sundry stupid or ignorant things). I’d like to think if you asked average Southerners these days to honor a Klansman, especially in such a high-profile manner, they’d rightly be aghast at such. At any rate, I find it rather appalling that a supposedly learned and tolerant man would paint all of us with such a broad brush. I hesitate to say such a stereotype is as nasty as the ones that blacks have had to deal with over the years, but it’s still quite offensive.